How far would you go to grab a good beer? Does running more than 26 miles sound reasonable? If so, you could consider registering for the Beer Lovers’ Marathon, which will be held on Sunday, 20 May, in the Belgian city of Liege.

TEXT: STUART FORSTER| PHOTO © MARC-ANTOINE SEPULCHRE

The event is limited to a maximum of 1,500 participants, who are being encouraged to don fancy dress for the run. The theme for costumes is ‘Far West’, so perhaps cowboys and cowgirls — but surely not pantomime horses — will be seen running through the streets of the Wallonian municipality during the marathon?

The emphasis will be on having fun rather than elite performances. Nonetheless, runners must complete the 42.195-kilometre course in less than six hours and 30 minutes.

Though Belgium has a reputation for being relatively flat, the first quarter of the course is undulating. Participants will have to climb the 374 steps of the Buren Stairs, named in honour of Vincent de Buren. Built in 1881 to link the citadel and city centre, the staircase has an incline of 30 degrees. Three kilometres later, the route encompasses the Rue des Cotillages, which has a steep last couple of hundred metres.

Surely after all of that, those beer lovers will have earned a cold one? The Elfique, La Redoubtable and Brasserie de Marsinne will be among the breweries showcasing their products during the event. So too will Chimay, Leffe and La Chouffe: breweries whose products are widely available within the United Kingdom.

Runners have the option of sampling 15 different beers along the route of this marathon, which was first held in 2016. Regular food and water supplies will be provided every five kilometres. Musicians, DJs and drummers will be banging out motivation at each of the stops.

Participants have the option of joining a free city tour on Monday, 21 May. Perhaps some will still have the strength in their legs to continue to the city’s Brasserie C or the beer cafes dotted around central Liege?

Web: www.beerloversmarathon.be

New edition of the Good Beer Guide Belgium published

The eighth edition of the Good Beer Guide Belgium, written by Tim Webb and Joe Stange, was published last month by CAMRA, the British-based organisation Campaign for Real Ale, which has more than 188,000 members around the world.
The book contains information on Belgium’s beers, breweries, bars and beer shops, making it a useful guide for both ale loving travellers and residents of the country. The Good Beer Guide Belgium highlights beer-related points of interest in the nation’s provinces and urban areas, featuring colour maps. It also has information on where to stay, what to eat and getting about in Belgium.
“Belgium is to beer what Speyside is to whisky or Bordeaux to wine. Only we added a pretty comprehensive tour guide to the country alongside,” commented beer writer Tim Webb, who has been involved in all seven of the previous editions of the Good Beer Guide Belgium. His co-author, Joe Stange, a former resident of Belgium, also contributed to the seventh edition of the guide.
The paperback book has 384 pages and has a recommended retail price of £14.99.

Web: www.camra.org.uk

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